Buying Tickets Day of Show. Really????

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“Buying tickets day of show – isn’t that a crazy risk????? Prices will skyrocket!!!”

This is a common response I get when giving ticket buying advice. I will layout my rational on why I prefer this method. You can then decide if it’s a gamble you are willing to take.

All of this does, however, fall under the pretense that you were using some intellect when buying tickets initially. If you did not take advantage of a presale, or gave up after trying to buy tickets for 5 minutes saying “well, they sold out – better go on StubHub” then you need to read my previous posts on how to buy tickets. Again, I use StubHub as the reseller of choice since they are the biggest (and I seem to find them to have the best deals since it’s just average folk putting their tickets up for sale and not knowing/caring what the market is).

If you did use the presales and were not able to get the tickets you want and a show did sell out – this is for you.

Watching the ticket market is very similar to the stock market – knowing when to buy or sell tickets is a very complex and challenging endeavor. Most ticket brokers fail because they have no clue what they are doing. For the real fan, though, this can lead to great savings on event tickets. My saying that “most people are idiots” can go for ticket buyers and sellers alike.

There are really two types of shows I will discuss – sold out shows and those that still have tickets available on Ticketmaster, AXS.com, etc.

Let’s start with the non-sold out shows:

  • Before buying tickets for a show that still has tickets available – ALWAYS check StubHub first – good chance tickets are below face value.
  • If there are a lot of tickets on StubHub and it’s not sold out, tickets will drop in price the day of the show. Wait until a couple of hours before the show to buy.
  • A show could pick up steam as it gets closer and if you find a deal that you are happy with, buy right then and there – don’t wait – but don’t pay more than face value!

The “hot” sold out shows are the challenge:

  • There are very few performers that this holds true with – George Strait, One Direction, Luke Bryan, some Justin Timberlake shows, some P!nk shows, etc.
  • These events sell out right away and prices immediately are two or three times face value on StubHub.
  • The advice here is to buy tickets right away (immediately after the onsale) – heck, if the ticket prices keep climbing – sell them yourself on StubHub and use that money towards seats for yourself
  • If you don’t want to spend more than face value, this is where the hand-wringing and sweating comes into play – when do I buy???
  • All of these artists have released tickets the day of the show, guaranteed. Checking for ticket drops is a challenge and I do the best I can on my Twitter feed, but it’s still a very manual process. Use my ticket drop tips to help you with this.
  • Once tickets are released the brokers gobble them up and put them on StubHub. This can create a nice new supply of tickets that will drive the market down.
  • For George Strait and One Direction, we will know more about how many they drop, what the market does day of show once their tours begin (Strait next week, 1D in August).
  • I mean, you can buy tickets for above face value really at any point during the public on sale and the event – so why not wait and see what the market does? It is a risk, but I feel one worth taking.
  • Very rarely have I never been able to get tickets for a sold out show and this includes IHeartRadio Music Fest, MTV VMA’s and some other huge shows.

Now, I know this isn’t a solve-all and leaves some questions, but it’s a little insight into my saying wait until the day of the show.

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